The great Allied evacuations of May-June 1940

The great Allied evacuations of May-June 1940

Postby Fat Tony » Apr 05, 2017 6:02 pm

http://warfarehistorynetwork.com/daily/ ... his-story/


The story of a Royal Engineer's fight. It captures the chaos, violence, and hardship of the campaign very well.

We have all heard about the evacuations from Dunkirk and the other ports. The individual stories always reveal new insights; and they always keep you watching, listening, and reading to the last word.
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Trapped on a beach near Dunkirk, troops of the British Expeditionary Force fought the attacking Germans and looked toward home for rescue.by Norman Wickman, as told to Pauline Hayton

Pauline Hayton was 52 years old before her father, Norman Wickman, talked about his life in the British Army. It was 1999. Wanting to write a family memoir, Pauline pumped Norman for information on his childhood; his wartime stories spilled out instead. She found them so fascinating that she put the memoir to one side and concentrated on capturing his every word. This is his experience at Dunkirk as told to Pauline, supported by her research.

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Re: The great Allied evacuations of May-June 1940

Postby Windwalker » Apr 14, 2017 4:01 am

Wow, I just got sucked into reading about the evacuation on various sites (including some alternate-history hypothetical type stuff) for about 3 hours, and I didn't even get around to clicking on the provided link, lol.

It seems to me there is a lot of revisionist history about this event by both sides.

The Allies tried to play it off as a "snatching victory from the jaws of defeat" as a way of avoiding a PR nightmare with the public (they lost over 250 ships, thousands of guns, hundreds of aircraft, and basically the entirety of their munitions and supplies, but managed to make it look like a "victory" of sorts by saving 80% of their personnel from capture.

The German commanders on the ground that paused for between 16 to 48 hours, allowing for a semi organized defense/retreat of the Allies, were overstretched, had suffered heavy losses, were in dire need of reorganizing, and most of their units had been in continuous operation for 2 or more weeks.... Hitler is often credited (in hindsight) with having clumsily allowing them to "escape" by the very German officers who actually gave the order. :roll:
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Re: The great Allied evacuations of May-June 1940

Postby Fat Tony » Apr 14, 2017 5:47 am

By this time many of the Poles were already in France fighting again or in the UK getting trained up. Been there done that sort of deal.

The Poles had an arrangement with Romania whereby Polish troops had free passage through that territory.

They arranged for the secret evacuation of three of their best destroyers & crews to the UK with Operation Peking.

Referring to Korea, we have the less well known Chosin Reservoir Campaign, a massive campaign to evacuate UN forces from Hungnam, and prevent the Chinese encirclement. The entire story has not been revealed to Western audiences imo.

There are vague rumours that Hitler was to some degree sentimental towards English folk. Something like he considered them to be the Herren Volk cousins across the channel.

It was not just Hitler who had views like this, none other than Johannes Steinhoff also expressed similar views in public.

You could guesstimate that at the early stage of the war, the German commanders might have been mindful of pissing off the Allies in hopes of getting a treaty with amenable terms. That is justa wag though.
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Re: The great Allied evacuations of May-June 1940

Postby Windwalker » Apr 15, 2017 11:16 am

Hitler himself muddied the argument in his suicide note, in which he mused about having given the British a "sporting chance" by allowing Dunkirk......

The forensic evidence says otherwise. The German commanders on the ground ordered and implemented the 16-48 hour halt for tactical reasons, Hitler just rubber-stamped it during a time when there were multiple moving parts all over the map. The British making a huge PR campaign after the fact is what made it look like a "blunder" on Germany's part.... 80% of their ground forces DID escape with their lives, but it would take 4 years for the British to re-equip them. (Not to mention the Luftwafa sent nearly a quarter of the Royal Navy to the bottom of the Channel during this fight, in spite of the weather conditions being favorable to the Allies.)

But then the winners get to put their spin on history.... and the German commanders were all too eager to hang another "blunder" on Hitler in hindsight (rather then expend the energy arguing on the prudence of not marching Armored units at 50% strength, with no supply, low on ammo and no infantry support, with enemy units threatening both flanks directly into a defended marshy area. C:| )
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Re: The great Allied evacuations of May-June 1940

Postby Fat Tony » Apr 16, 2017 3:17 pm

I sure would go with the forensic evidence. Angels dancing on the head of a pin versus results gotten through bloodshed. The latter although ugly to contemplate is the more suitable unit of measure.
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Re: The great Allied evacuations of May-June 1940

Postby Fat Tony » Aug 18, 2017 6:52 pm

Just finished reading a harrowing tale of the Bataan peninsula campaign in WWII. It was called Escape from Davao. Worth a read.

Could be considered: "America's Dunkirk".
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Re: The great Allied evacuations of May-June 1940

Postby Bayowolf » Aug 19, 2017 10:51 am

^^^^^^^^^^^
Except that on the Death March, instead of escaping, the Americans and the Filipinos were being marched to POW camps--losing upwards of 18,000 troops along the way.

An example of the American reaction to the news:

Image

Another example of the American reaction:

Image

We were being merciful.
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Re: The great Allied evacuations of May-June 1940

Postby Fat Tony » Aug 19, 2017 12:48 pm

There is pic of Gen. MacArthur out there in which he looks like he just saw a ghost. The story is that he had just received a full briefing from one of the American prisoners who had escaped & evaced out of theatre.

Plenty of Allied soldiers were killed to make the Dunkirk evac possible, lots of them went to camps as well. Not Jap camps though.
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Re: The great Allied evacuations of May-June 1940

Postby Americalex » Aug 19, 2017 1:37 pm

MacArthur lost his countenance the day China entered the Korean war.. they played his overconfidence by faking a retreat and then rolled over him putting the entire campaign in disaray. Ultimately he failed to strategically perceive that China could and would enter the conflict, which really shook his credibility as an astute general.
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Re: The great Allied evacuations of May-June 1940

Postby Windwalker » Aug 20, 2017 1:08 pm

Americalex wrote:MacArthur lost his countenance the day China entered the Korean war.. they played his overconfidence by faking a retreat and then rolled over him putting the entire campaign in disaray. Ultimately he failed to strategically perceive that China could and would enter the conflict, which really shook his credibility as an astute general.


MacArthur was a piece-of-shit who maintained his position of authority and power by being well connected with sleazy and corrupt politicians in DC.

When the attack happened on Pearl Harbor, the two top Generals there were both officially reprimanded for being poorly prepared, and for not implementing good defensive measures.

When MacArthur, who several weeks later made almost all the exact same tactical blunders in his defense of the Philippines, slipped out under cover of darkness in a speed boat, leaving his men to die in his stead, was applauded as a hero and promoted.
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Re: The great Allied evacuations of May-June 1940

Postby Bayowolf » Aug 20, 2017 1:22 pm

.. they played his overconfidence by faking a retreat and then rolled over him putting the entire campaign in disaray.


Image

You may be referring to the "The First Phase Offensive" [10.24.50-11.01.50 (thereabouts)] when the bulk of the Peninsula was mostly in Allied hands. The Chinese came in, gave us a quick thumping, then disappeared into the hills. They began prosecuting the war in earnest with "The Second Phase Offensive" which began 11.25.50. I have no clue why they weren't pressing their advantage between the 1st and the 25 of November--maybe the "First Phase" was a probe of some sort.
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Re: The great Allied evacuations of May-June 1940

Postby Windwalker » Aug 20, 2017 1:53 pm

If we are talking about the Korean conflict only, MacArthur was a poor choice to begin with...

MacArthur was widely viewed with suspicion and mistrust (for good reason) by both military and political leadership across Europe. The general European view of MacArthur was one of MacArthur wanting to shift the center of the world's power from the Atlantic to the Pacific theater.

Had the US declared against China during the Korean conflict, it was believed that not only would Russia officially enter the war (per their agreement with China), but that MacArthur would use his pull with Pacific Nations, his populism in the US, and his pull at DC to shift the bulk of US Military efforts to the Pacific, leaving Europe to deal with a nuclear-armed and belligerent Russia with little outside support.

We probably could have steam-rolled China at that time, but without our full support, Russia would likely have swept into a still recovering Western Europe in response (and their plan of attack included the use of about 1000 mini-nukes scaled down to battlefield size.)

-----------------

MacArthur had built an almost cult-like ring of loyalty around himself in key positions in DC, and had also placed his hand-picked cronies in key positions of power across every Nation in the Pacific... China didn't really "call-his-bluff" so much as they played off of the distrust and disdain that had developed toward MacArthur outside of MacArthur's circle of influence.
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Re: The great Allied evacuations of May-June 1940

Postby Fat Tony » Aug 22, 2017 3:11 pm

Interesting that the American forces arrival in Australia was mostly, but not exactly smooth as recently brought to light media about those uncertain times reveals. Australian companies sold a lot of materiel to the newly arrived US forces. Even among WWII cutlery collectors, there is not much known about the combat cutlery made in Aus for use by American forces. Such was the haste to re- equip to begin the long fight back up North, beginning with New Guinea.

I also found this Pre 9/11 critique of the Dunkirk story.
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Re: The great Allied evacuations of May-June 1940

Postby Fat Tony » Aug 22, 2017 3:13 pm

http://www.historytoday.com/patrick-wil ... -or-defeat

Critique of the Dunkirk operation from 2000.
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Re: The great Allied evacuations of May-June 1940

Postby Americalex » Aug 22, 2017 3:58 pm

Image

A few comments about the movie, a technical masterpiece which I disliked because of the strong humanist untertönt.

* The best moment for me was when the bomber starts firing back.

* The scene when they get stuck in the beached boat is both cheap and cheesy, cheap in budget, cheap is fiber, cheap in its bullet hole thrills and intellectually broken cheese with its lets kill the french soldier garbage drama... a real low tide in the intelligence of the movie makers.

* The end scene when the ace spitfire pilots lands on the beach giving himself up to the nazis is not only a total fiction which wreaks of humainst delusional stupidity, it is highly offensive for the movie to dare suggest that a pilot of such quality would be an emotionalist moron like those who came up with this oozing fagness imbued cheese. "Yeah my country is about to be invaded, I'm an ace pilot in the command that is pivotal to determining whether we can resist invasion or not, but fuck it, I had a big day so I'll go for the poetic fagness of landing my plane on the beach and giving myself up to the enemy -recklessly imposing myself to years of prison, misery and needless risk of pointless death- instead of parachuting over my own troops and escaping to provide my unique skillset at the essential juncture of history to help defend everything i love including my family and friends."

* More movies capturing the immersive historical realities of various real human stories is the future of cinema for the segment of the population that isn't neurally flatlined as per humanistic stunting of their potentials (i.e. the transformer and superhero gayness crowds)
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Re: The great Allied evacuations of May-June 1940

Postby Windwalker » Aug 23, 2017 1:36 pm

^^^^^^^
Hollywood voluntarily acting as the propoganda wing of a specific political agenda wilst targeting the lowest-common-denominator of our collective intellect? [Sarcasm]nah.... I'd NEVER believe that......[/sarcasm]
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Re: The great Allied evacuations of May-June 1940

Postby Windwalker » Aug 23, 2017 2:12 pm

Bayowolf wrote:They began prosecuting the war in earnest with "The Second Phase Offensive" which began 11.25.50. I have no clue why they weren't pressing their advantage between the 1st and the 25 of November--maybe the "First Phase" was a probe of some sort.


I haven't research this specific point in depth, but it probably had a lot to do with the surprise nature of the first push. Interviews with individual Chinese soldiers who participated in the first push (who were primarily volunteers) say their command presented as if the Chinese Brass felt it was highly probable that Allied forces were preparing an invasion of Manchuria.

How much organization went into the attack was likely severely limited.... In fact I would go so far as to say the Chinese Brass were probably happily surprised at how successful it was..... Its amazing what forces composed of volunteers empowered by righteous-indignation can achieve when told to "give'em hell!" as opposed to being a cog in an operation being approached in a more mechanical approach.

The "surprise" effect wore off long before the attack petered out and the Chinese troops' lack of supplies started countering their indignation.

When comparing Eastern and Western military tactics, one has to cosider the most significant difference.... Eastern strategy tends to place more significance on timelines and pace, and Western strategy more emphasis on control-of-terrain and concentration of power-projection.
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Re: The great Allied evacuations of May-June 1940

Postby Fat Tony » Aug 26, 2017 10:20 am

This Dunkirk miniseries from 2004 is worth watching.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunkirk_(TV_series)
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Re: The great Allied evacuations of May-June 1940

Postby Fat Tony » Aug 31, 2017 8:53 pm

Took it in the other day. I don't understand how they thought it was dead silent at the beginning when Axis artillery was well within range, & the heavy fighting between the belligerents would have been easily audible 24/7.In addition I do not understand how warships did not appear to have a head of steam. At the end it was good overall. The scenes of the sinkings of ships made me slightly nauseous. It could have been the crappy food I ate earlier.
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Re: The great Allied evacuations of May-June 1940

Postby Fat Tony » Oct 26, 2017 7:33 pm

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... -attitudes

^Someone else Joins the queue so to speak. . .

Speaking of which:

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